Clear Creek Canyon Park

Paved winding trail surrounded by steep rockwalls and a small section of river rapids.
Clear Creek Canyon Park, Gateway Segment to Huntsman Gulch map with next segment to be constructed

Current Construction - Huntsman Segment

The Huntsman Segment is the next piece of the Peaks to Plains Trail through Clear Creek Canyon. This 3-mile segment of ADA compliant trail will build off the recently opened Gateway Trailhead segment connecting the west side of Tunnel 1 to Huntsman Gulch. It will include seven new bridges spanning Clear Creek, one new bridge over US Highway 6, one new underpass beneath US Highway 6, multiple creek access points, as well as two new trailheads with full amenities and parking for approximately 100 vehicles. Construction broke ground in July 2022 and once it opens to the public in 2025, there will only be a little less than 6 miles to complete the 13.5-miles of trail in Jefferson County. 

View construction update videos about the Huntsman Segment (YouTube)

Gateway Segment of Clear Creek Canyon Park Open

Jefferson County Open Space is happy to finally announce the completion and opening of the Gateway Segment to Clear Creek Canyon Park as of August 25, 2021 following a 4 P.M. “cable cutting” ceremony.

This 1.75-mile trail connects with downtown Golden along Clear Creek and continues west to Tunnel 1 along US 6. The two new trailheads – one at the entrance to the canyon and one near Tunnel 1 – feature more than 170 parking spaces, permanent restrooms, and shade structures. The parking area at the Gateway Segment of Clear Creek Canyon Park has the added features of a bike repair station, a bike rack with metal frame crafted from the parts of cars retrieved from the canyon during construction, and a drinking fountain that includes a ground-level fountain for four-legged hiking companions.  

This project also includes the first suspension bridge in Jefferson County. This pedestrian-only crossing of Clear Creek near Tunnel 1 connects hikers with the restored wooden flume of the Welch Ditch on the south side of the creek. Water access is also improved with rock staircases along the trail. This Gateway Segment – part of the Peaks to Plains Trail – honors the area’s mining history with materials and treatments like stained concrete and bridge railings that are designed to help the trail blend in with the canyon.

The trail will be open from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset, with electronic gates at both parking facilities closing at those times to prohibit overnight parking. 

Park visitors walking along the paved Gateway  trailhead.
Trail lined with restored wooden flume next to mellow river and a golden bridge in the distance

Clear Creek Canyon Park offers unique recreation experiences among its steep canyon walls and fast flowing creek. With the opening of a segment of the Peaks to Plains Trail, bicycles are allowed in the canyon for the first time. Use caution when accessing the creek and engaging in high-risk activities such as rock climbing, kayaking and rafting. Anglers must carry a valid Colorado fishing license with habitat stamp. Gold prospectors must adhere to Open Space Regulations.

Clear Creek Trail*

The Clear Creek Trail is a concrete path along Clear Creek connecting the City of Golden with the City of Wheat Ridge. View Clear Creek Trail Map

Gateway Trailhead
21100 US Highway 6 
Golden, CO 80403

Tunnel 1 Trailhead
22122 US Highway 6 
Golden, CO 

Big Easy Trailhead
32088 US Highway 6
Golden, CO 80403

Mayhem Gulch Trailhead
32447 US Highway 6
Golden, CO 80403

Cannonball Flats Access
33708 US Highway 6
Golden, CO 80403


Park Regulations

Recreation & Activity Management Guide

Jeffco Non-emergency Number: 303.980.7300

Peaks to Plains Trail*

The vision of the Peaks to Plains Trail is a 65-mile trail of statewide significance that will serve the 3 million residents of the Denver metro area. The goal is that the Peaks to Plains Trail will one day connect the South Platte Trail in Denver to the headwaters of Clear Creek at Loveland Pass. Once completed, it will connect four counties and seven cities, with a total elevation gain of more than 1 mile. 

The first portions of the Peaks to Plains Trail in Clear Creek Canyon Park opened in 2016 and 2017, offering four miles of 10-foot-wide paved surface right along Clear Creek. In 2021, the 1.75 mile Gateway Segment opened at the entrance to Clear Creek Canyon. Learn more about the Peaks to Plains Trail.

*Notice: This trail crosses multiple jurisdictions beyond land owned/managed by Jeffco Open Space and may fall under different regulations.

Prospecting is prohibited in some areas at the Big Easy Trailhead. See posted signs.

  • Digging into or destruction of stable shoreline, banks or existing vegetation is not permitted
  • All prospecting holes must be filled in before leaving site
  • Dredges and equipment may not be left overnight
  • No prospecting within 100 feet of structures including bridges, steps and
    fish habitat improvements
  • Only dredges with a nozzle diameter of four inches or fewer are permitted
  • No dripping or leaking of fuel or oil allowed
Prospecting rules and prohibited actions